Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pac NW Vacation - Day 4

Wrapping up our time in Portland, we hit a few spots that have been featured prominently on the NBC show, Grimm. We crossed the Columbia River taking us over the border from our friends gorgeous home in WA to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in OR where we visited three beautiful waterfalls.

Our first stop was at the Wahkeena Falls.

Stop number two was the one I was looking forward to the most.
The Multnomah Falls were so beautiful. We had a great time hiking around the area, checking out the cute gift shop and even climbing up to the bridge with both kids.

K with a handful of moss to toss off the bridge.

Rounding out our Waterfall Trifecta Tour was Horsetail Falls. While this fall was very beautiful, I only saw it from the warm, dry car. It had been drizzling off and on all morning and by then E was sleeping so the brave men went out and took the pictures for us.

Our second half of the day was spent exploring Cathedral Park and St. Johns Bridge. I love bridges and this one is a real beauty.

Spanning the Willamette River

Cathedral Park (named after the Gothic Cathedral-like appearance of the bridge towers) was a great place to get K out of the car to burn some energy.

I have to admit to doctoring up the photo above. It's such a pretty sight, with the arches of the bridge and the tree in the middle that the white concrete patches in the original photo were just too distracting so I used Photoshop to do my own "repairs".

That covers our time in OR for the most part. I'll leave you tonight with a few stragglers that didn't get their own posts but deserve to be mentioned.

This is a scenic overlook right by our friends house. I love how the Columbia
disappears into the mist. Also, it would be awesome to own that house down there.

Beautiful Mt. Hood

The Columbia River taken from the McMenamins Brewery in Vancouver, WA.

Stay tuned for the rest of our trip in Washington and Victoria, B.C.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pac NW Vacation - Day 3

Continuing on with our vacation in the greater Portland area, we packed ourselves into our gracious hosts car and headed two hours northwest to Astoria, OR. For those of you familiar with the 1985 movie, The Goonies, by Steven Spielberg this is the town where it was shot.

Built of concrete and steel in 1926, the Astoria Column is a 125-foot tower overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River. Inside is a 164-step spiral staircase ascending to an observation deck at the top where you can launch a balsa wood plane purchased from the gift store for $1.

The spiral sgrafitto frieze on the outside is almost seven feet wide and 525 feet long, and shows 14 significant events in the early history of Oregon with a focus on Astoria's role including Captain Gray's discovery of the Columbia River in 1792 and the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Locally known as "The Bridge to Nowhere," the Astoria-Megler Bridge spans 4 miles across the mouth of the Columbia River near where it empties into the Pacific Ocean connecting Astoria to Point Ellice, WA.

Awww :)

From Astoria we left the song of the Sirens (I mean, sea lions) and headed south to Seaside to hit The Buzz on Broadway, The Greatest Selection of Candy on the Pacific Coast, and Cannon Beach.

If it weren't so chilly at Cannon Beach, I could have stayed there for hours. We arrived at sunset and the view was breathtaking.

K and A playing on the beach.

Cannon Beach is recognized by its well-known landmark, Haystack Rock, located to the southwest of downtown Cannon Beach. This igneous rock has an elevation of 235 feet, and is often accessible at low tide, especially in the summertime. Near Haystack Rock are the Needles, two tall rocks rising straight out of the water.

K and A

My beauties (again)

I'm really hoping the next time we are in OR that we can stay here at least overnight and see the marine life at low tide and collect shells at sunrise. It's such a gorgeous place - I highly  recommend making a trip here.

Our last stop of the day was south to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We arrived 5 minutes before they closed; just long enough to get K a dry pair of socks (cow print, of course) and a scoop of delicious ice cream. From there we headed home and the girls and I crashed almost immediately while A, KS & SS stayed up to play Ticket To Ride which, if you are into boardgames, is very fun and I'd recommend it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

365 Days

For 365 days I've held you in my arms and breathed in the sweet fragrance of your downy little head.

For 365 days I've looked into those big beautiful blue eyes and kissed your soft chubby cheeks.

For 365 days I've watched your jet black hair turn to a golden honey blonde.

For 365 days I've seen the joy in your eyes as you experience the world around you.

For 365 days I've felt a pride I never knew existed as I've watched you and Big Sis learn to play together and see the immeasurable love between you two.

For 365 days I've seen my husband become a father again and I love him more each day.

For 365 days we've fed you, bathed you, clothed you, cuddled you and most of all, loved you.

Happy 1st birthday, our dear sweet Little E.

How old are you, Little E? That's right, you're 1!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pac NW Vacation - Day 2

Our second day of exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest took place in downtown Portland. We had lunch at Jake's Grill (their clam chowder is delicious) and then headed to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry.) It's a neat place but there was really only one area that was geared toward kids K's age and it was really crowded. She seemed to thoroughly enjoy it though.

Little E with Bestie K at OMSI.


E spent most of her time at OMSI observing everything in her Boba 2G Baby Carrier.

K is a budding geologist, just like Papa. (In fact, last night at dinner she put the two halves of her grape tomato back together and told us it was a geode and it was filled with sparkles.)

After OMSI we perused Powell's Bookstore - an independently owned bookstore that " fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books" and then headed to Voodoo Doughnuts. I've heard about this place not only from our besties but also from other blogs and I knew it was place I had to try. It gets real when it comes to doughnuts. I *LOVE* them. There was a fairly long line that wrapped around outside but it moved quickly. The ordering process reminded me a bit of a certain soup vendor from the Seinfeld show...

There are a ton of doughnuts to chose from and most of them are kinds you would never get from your run of the mill shop. Plus they come in a pretty pink box and as it plainly states, "Good things come in pink boxes." :)

Unfortunately I don't remember the names of any of our doughnuts but I can tell you the two I had were NOMS! The top left one that looks like it has fake poop on it was mine. It was a chocolate doughnut with pink marshmallow covered in coconut and then topped with peanut butter. I also had one of the chocolate iced ones with the two dots on it. I think it was called a Portland (?) and it's a lot like a Boston Cream Filled. A had the two topped with cereal. I can't remember who had the voodoo doll one. The blue one with sprinkles was for K but she didn't care for it so I think I ate that one too. Poor me... ;)

That night we went to a drive through Christmas light display. It was at a race track and it had tons of the large light displays. The most impressive ones were those that spanned the track...
(I like how you can see Bestie K in the side mirror)
They also did each of the 12 Days of Christmas and those were very neat as well.

"Keep Portland Weird" people!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pac NW Vacation - Day 1

Back in November the JAKES took a vacation to Oregon and Washington; two incredibly beautiful states that I would highly recommend visiting as much as possible. While we were there we stayed with our best buddies and A's brother and his family. It was an awesome time and we're already looking forward to going back there this summer (yay free airline tickets!)

Our first full day there was Thanksgiving and our amazing friends did not fail to deliver! The meal was delicious and the atmosphere was very laid back. K discovered she loves turkey and that (and Apple Jacks) was all she wanted to eat our entire time there.

The next day we headed to the Hood River area to have lunch (nom pizza) and ride on The Polar Express.
The children were encouraged to wear their pajamas and they had a Letters To Santa station set up right when we walked in.

After receiving our special tickets we climbed aboard the top floor of the Observation Car.

It was really cool to have such a great view.

We got our tickets punched...

(E preferred to eat hers)

...had hot cocoa...

...and listened to a story while we waited for The Big Guy to board our train.

K told Santa what she wanted for Christmas (Princess Celestia from My Little Pony) while E played with her silver bell.

E watching Santa from the safety of a cozy snuggle.

Both girls had a wonderful time. There was definitely some magic in the air.